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Experiment

MPAC&SEED Retrieved from Kibo Exposed Facility

Last Updated: April 10, 2010

* All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

The JEM/MPAC&SEED*1, a material exposure experiment package installed in the SEDA-AP*2 operating on Kibo Exposed Facility (EF) since last July, was removed and brought inside of the International Space Station (ISS).

*1 MPAC : Micro-Particles Capturer, SEED : Space Environment Exposure Device
*2 Space Environment Data Acquisition equipment - Attached Payload


The JEM/MPAC&SEED is an experiment package installed in the SEDA-AP. The package consists of two mission instruments.
The MPAC&SEED is the only experiment package to be returned to the ground, through eight mission experiments are installed in the SEDA-AP.
The MPAC&SEED has been exposed to space environment over the past 8 months. During that period, the MPAC collected cosmic dusts and particles floating around the ISS to investigate the space environment. Meawhile, the SEED exposed sample materials to space environment to investigate effects of cosmic radiations on the materials.

The JEM/MPAC&SEED was retrieved by the STS-131 mission's Extravehicular Activity (EVA) crew at 5:22 p.m. on April 9, 2010. The EVA crew carefully removed the JEM/MPAC&SEED package from the SEDA-AP and brought it in the ISS. This activity was performed with a special precaution to avoid contaminations by particles floating inside the ISS cabins. The JEM/MPAC&SEED is JAXA's first experiment retrieved from the exposed section of the Kibo module by spacewalk crew.

The MPAC&SEED will be returned to the ground aboard the space shuttle Discovery on the STS-131 mission, on which Astronaut Yamazaki flew back to the ground.

After the package was returned to the ground, the team will conduct analysis of samples captured by the MPAC to determine size, composition and impact energy of the captured particles (space debris, micro-meteoroid debris etc.).
For the SEED experiment, the team will examine and evaluate the materials exposed to space, and will examine how the materials are eroded by atomic oxygen, ultraviolet and cosmic radiation, and how their characteristics are changed.
Results will be utilized for future spacecraft designs, and development of safety measures for future human space flights.


Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment - Attached Payload (SEDA-AP)

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

 
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